I'm quarter an American...and quarter a Japanese

Discussion in 'English Only' started by HSS, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    I'm quarter an American, quarter a Canadian, quarter an Australian, and quarter a Japanese.

    How about this? Could this be possibly accepted, with a Japanese?

    Hiro
     
  2. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Sorry, not at all idiomatic. If you left out all the articles and left the adjectives, that would be more typically how we would say that.

    Edit - see below on the use of "a quarter {adjective}" and "ø half {adjective}"
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  3. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Okay, Julian. I tried again. But to no avail again.
     
  4. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Alternatively you could move the articles to "I'm a quarter X, a quarter Y" etc but not your version :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  5. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Do you mean 'I'm a quarter American, a quarter Canadian, a quarter Australian, and a quarter Japanese' is not used?
     
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    No, I mean that IS used. It's your original version but with the articles moved to before "quarter"
     
  7. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Oh, okay. IS used, I see.

    Does that lead to possibly being able to say simply 'I'm a quarter Japanese'? Or, 'I'm a half Japanese'?
     
  8. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
    We say "I'm a quarter Japanese", but we say "I'm half Japanese" (without the article).
     
  9. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Hi, Cagey.

    So the use of 'quarter' and and that of 'half' in this construct are different. Interesting!
     
  10. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Incidentally, you wouldn't say:
    I'm a half American and a half Japanese.
    I'm half an American and half a Japanese.
    I'm a half American.
    or
    I'm half an American,
    would you?

    I'm asking this because a friend of mine, born and raised in the U.S., uses them often. She uses Japanese at home.
     
  11. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australia
    Australian English
    No, we wouldn’t. We don’t use the ‘a’ or the ‘an’ in those sentences.
     
  12. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Hi, You little ripper!

    So, in summary, it's either 'a quarter + ethnicity noun' or 'quarter + ethnicity adjective', and 'half ethnicity adjective.' Still interesting!
     
  13. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Additionally, I wondered if, in the case of 'quarter,'

    I am a three-quarter Japanese.
    and
    I am three-quarter Japanese.

    are okay, correct?
     
  14. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I am three-quarters Japanese:).
     
  15. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australia
    Australian English
    A lot of people might say, “I’m half Japanese and half American”, but saying that you are a quarter of any nationality isn’t that common. In my experience most people would say, “I have a bit of American, Japanese, Australian and Canadian in me” or “I have a mixed background - a bit of American, a bit of Canadian, a bit of Australian and a bit of Japanese”. Some people might jokingly say, “I’m a bit of a mongrel! A bit of Japanese, a bit of .........”.
     
  16. Linkway Senior Member

    British English
    This use of fractions seems very old-fashioned as well as unscientific.

    Far better to refer to mixed heritage or parentage.

    In any case, someone can be 100% Japanese ethnically and 100% American in terms of citizenship.
     
  17. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Thanks for your input, everone.

    Yes, racial mixture is advancing quite a bit. Everyone is mixted a lot.

    Hi, Loob. Then, I am a three-quarters Japanese is wrong???
     
  18. Marsianitoh Senior Member

    Spanish-Spain
    I'm not Loob, but let's see if this helps you:
    a quarter=1 quarter
    three quarter= 3 quarters
    You cannot be "one three quarters"
    "a" is only used with " a (1) quarter".
     
  19. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Yes, it's wrong, as Marsianitoh says :(.

    In I'm a quarter Japanese, the "a" goes with "quarter", not with "Japanese".

    You get the same pattern if you use fractions with other adjectives:
    The bowl is half full.
    The bowl is a quarter full.
    The bowl is three-quarters full.
     
  20. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Thanks, both.

    But you would also say, "I'm quarter Japanese," without a, wouldn't you? Sorry I'm touching upon this and that.
     
  21. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    No, I don't think I would, Hiro.
     
  22. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    This discussion is now more about fractions than race. A glass may be half full but it is not quarter full, it is a quarter full or one quarter full". This Ngram pot is revealing :D about articles before half or quarter. One-quarter is also used (in place of a quarter).

     
  23. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    As in post #2, Julian says he would say 'I am quarter Japanese, and, Loob, you would not. Maybe it's another Big Pond devide???
     
  24. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    (I learnt English on the same side of the pond as Loob, that's why my avatar says UK then US :))

    Nope - I retract that comment: I was focussing on article placement (and said "more typically" with respect to that) and then see #4 in particular
    The ngrams are particularly clear on this - we put an article in front of quarter but not half. In the case of the glass "Ngrams not found: is quarter full, is a half full"
     
  25. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  26. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    When it comes to 'American,' I wonder if you still can't say

    I am a three-quarter American.
    I met a three-quarter American.

    (I know what is meant by American. Let's just put it away for now)
     
  27. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    No you can't. See #14.
    Edit: You could say "I'm 75% American and 25% Japanese" but still no articles :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  28. HSS

    HSS Senior Member

    Sendai, Japan
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    So it looks like you can't simply use the 'I met (a person)" construct.

    I met a man who is three-quarters American.
     
  29. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    See #14.
     

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